dr bunkis and dr ekstrom performing surgery

COVID-19 Update


Hello from all of us at Orange County Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA and Salisbury Plastic Surgery in Worcester, MA. Both of us are working in Massachusetts this week, in the above photo doing a facelift together two days ago. The OCPS staff has received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Orange County Surgery Center Vaccination site. Our Massachusetts staff is on a tentative list for vaccinations in February. Vaccinations will definitely change all of our lives!

Many things are changing! Today is the last day of the Trump presidency, the first day of the Biden presidency. As with all elections, some people are elated, others disappointed – but the spectacle of a peaceful transfer of power is something that ALL Americans can be proud of. The New England Journal of Medicine lauded the CDC for release of a COVID-19 vaccine at the most unprecedented rapid pace in human history. 10 million Americans have been vaccinated so far. Yet frustration is palpable as frightened citizens strive unsuccessfully to get their names included on lists to receive vaccinations. A New England Journal of Medicine article this week predicts that the new more contagious strain of COVID-19 first found in England will become the dominant strain in the US by March! President Biden will be racing against a surge in coronavirus infections and the emergence of this new variant that could significantly worsen the pandemic, and is planning a vaccination offensive that calls for greatly expanding access to the vaccine while promising to use a wartime law to expand production. The new Administration plans to release nearly all available vaccine doses (instead of holding back enough for a second dose for those already immunized but awaiting their second). But we don’t know how much difference this will make for two reasons. First of all, we are not sure it would be any better to have a partially protected population running around (assuming they are now safe) instead of having less people who are truly producing antibodies at sufficient levels to stave off disease. And second, given current experience, three times as much vaccine has been distributed to the States as has been given to patients - and the vaccine is being produced faster than it is being injected. The main problem appears to be lack of infrastructure to get the vaccine injected into patients! You may have read that the CVS pharmacy chain has been chosen to help with injection of the vaccine in all 50 States. But you won’t be able to go your local drugstore to get a COVID-19 vaccine along with your flu shot - CVS will be under the same strict guidelines as all other vaccination sites and will have to follow State guidelines regarding injection priorities. CVS will initially be vaccinating off site - the CVS mandate is to start by injecting the 400,000 long-term care facilities across the country, injecting residents and staff on-site at their facilities. We have had many inquiries from patients in Orange County asking if they can come to our Orange County Surgery Center Vaccination Site – but just to be clear, to date our only mandate has been to inject health care workers! As much as we would love to have our patients and families injected, it is currently just not possible for us given current guidelines mandated by the County! The government has announced that patients over 65 will soon be eligible for the vaccine, but we just do not have the latitude to inject anyone but health care workers at this time.

The scope of this pandemic is astronomical! The US has passed the 400,000 deaths due to COVID-19 disease this past year – this is more deaths than were recorded in World War I, World War II and the Viet Nam Wars combined! One in thirteen Californians have contracted COVID-19 infection, more than one in ten citizens living in LA County have gotten sick with COVID-19 infections! 13,500 citizens have died in the State of Massachusetts so far from this pandemic! But for the last week, the curve has been flattening in Massachusetts and California – both have seen a 10-15% reduction from the peaks just a few weeks ago! We are going in the right direction now!

Dr. Ekstrom, getting ready at The Surgery Center is Shrewsbury MA where we did some breast surgery earlier today.

Dr. Ekstrom, getting ready at The Surgery Center is Shrewsbury MA where we did some breast surgery earlier today.

Stay healthy! Stay happy and persevere!

The end of the pandemic is almost here!

Keep wearing your masks in public, social distancing, continue to wash your hands frequently, all of you get tested before getting together with friends and family, get vaccinated when you get the opportunity, be safe, be happy, be healthy and prosper!

Enjoy your families! And have a Happy New Year!

Be grateful for what you have now and for what is on the horizon.

If you need Dr. Ekstrom or I, please call 949-888-9700 or visit our websites at:


Or for MA location, call 508-755-4911 or visit

You can respond in the comment section below or write to me at bunkis@ocps.com or Dr. Ekstrom at deborahekstrom@gmail.com

Thanks for staying in touch and for your feedback!